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Subject:Re: reduced relative clause: -ing form vs. which From:Phil Snow Leopard <philstokes03 -at- googlemail -dot- com> To:"B.J. Smith" <bjsmith -at- ucar -dot- edu> Date:Thu, 29 Mar 2012 21:26:15 +0700
All of the following are grammatically correct and all mean the same thing:
[a] A custom map is a ZIP file containing the following...
[b] A custom map is a ZIP file which contains the following...
[c] A custom map is a Zip file that contains the following...
Both [b] and [c] are defining relative clauses. I wouldn't call [a] a clause at all (though some grammar books do) because for me a clause by definition has to have a subject and a tensed verb.
I'd call [a] (or at least this part of it "containing the following...") either an adjective phrase or a participle phrase.
As for usage, personally I prefer to use the least verbiage to get the message across clearly, so I'd plump for [a] other things being equal. Those "other things" might include:
-In some genres and styles of writing, its better to be verbose
-in some genres you may want to vary sentence patterns (e.g., if you had a couple of sentences with defining relative clauses one after the other, you might want to use the adjective phrase to avoid a repetitive style).
The short answer is there is no 'correct' or 'more correct' pattern to use in any absolute sense. Like so many things with writing (and what makes it an art), It's a matter of style, context and purpose.
On 29 Mar 20 12, at 21:14, B.J. Smith wrote:
> I'm not sure about the "reduced relative clause" question, but I would prefer [b] after replacing "which" with "that."
> On 3/29/2012 7:46 AM, Yves Barbion wrote:
>> Hi again group
>> Which do you prefer and why:
>> [a] A custom map is a ZIP file containing the following...
>> [b] A custom map is a ZIP file which contains the following...
>> Am I right in thinking that "a" is a “reduced relative clause”, which is
>> incorrect in this particular example?
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